Volunteers of all ages take part in worldwide campaign
SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Volunteers in Sisters dedicated their Sunday morning to playing Santa for children in need around the world. Their mission to spread holiday cheer took form in green and red shoeboxes adorned with the words, "Operation Christmas Child."
It's what people packed on the inside of the boxes, however, that they hope will bring joy to underprivileged children in other parts of the world.
The cafeteria of Sisters High School buzzed with the excited voices of people of all ages, accompanied by classic holiday tunes, as people lined up to fill their shoebox with items like notebooks, toys, and hygiene products.
Similar events took place in other parts of the U.S. during Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, which runs from Nov. 18-25. The organization Samaritan’s Purse then collects the gift-filled shoeboxes at nearly 5,000 drop-off locations.
Volunteer Jamie Lyn Weber is no stranger to Operation Christmas Child.
“I always tell people to put in there what’s in your heart," Weber told NewsChannel 21. "When I first started, it was because I'd heard about a girl who got one of the first boxes, and in her box, there was notebook paper and shoes."
Notebook paper may seem like an odd Christmas present for most children, but Weber said she knew the impact it would have for those who do not have basic supplies like paper readily available.
"I'd heard children were erasing notebook paper and reusing it," Weber said. "I’m a teacher, so I was like, 'Oh my gosh, how is that possible?'"
Ashlynn Moffat, another volunteer, has also participated in Operation Christmas Child in the past.
"It's so cool, hearing the stories about how the right box makes it to the right person. And it kind of shows how there’s always a plan for every child and how they’re loved by Jesus," Moffat said.
Volunteers have the option to print out a unique tracking label online that allows them to track where their shoebox is delivered.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, visit their website: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/